Thursday, June 26, 2008

Well, Teresa (Jason's mom) and Kyle just left. We had such a fun time while they were here! The house seems so empty and quiet now without them here. But I'm sure we wore them out with all the running around we did. Sunday we all went to Harper's Ferry. That was a really fun trip. We got to see Storer College

About Storer College: (info found at

As the first school in WV for black students teaching beyond the most basic subjects, Storer College was ambitious and notable from the beginning. The Founders of Storer discovered the desperate need for African-American educators after years of mission work during the Civil War. In an interview for the film West Virginia, Shepherd University Historian John Stealey explained, “As they dealt with relief, as they dealt with the refugee situation, as they dealt with education, the Free Will Baptists soon realized that the problem was too large to deal with. Their solution was to create a normal school to teach blacks to teach blacks.”
Storer became a refuge for students who would go on to achieve what was previously unattainable for the black community. J.R. Clifford, class of 1875, was trained to teach at Storer. “Many prominent black West Virginia families started as teachers in these schools,” says Stealey.

Nathan Brackett, leader of the Free Will Baptists, was the catalyst for Storer’s foundation. He had strong roots in the Shenandoah Valley. “The Free Will Baptists came to Harper’s Ferry because of one man: Nathan Cook Brackett,” says Stealey. Brackett met with John Storer, who believed in his ideas and had the means to bring them to fruition. Working with members of his congregation, Brackett was able to raise $10,000 to match Storer’s promised seed money.

On October 2, 1867 the school held its first classes. Because Storer was the only school of its kind in an area with a large black community, the college’s attendance multiplied. Storer’s popularity swelled under great pressure from the surrounding community. Stealey elaborates, “It must be understood that many of the localities in West Virginia opposed the establishment of education for blacks and or building buildings for blacks.” In the school’s first years, students and faculty were armed and accompanied at all times to defend themselves from angry civilians. The Baptists’ desires and perseverance fostered Storer’s mission to instill education, positive character traits, and religion. A catalog from 1869 lists basic courses such as reading, history, and arithmetic, but by the early 19th Century Storer offered college preparatory classes, and four-year degree programs. The school added an industrial program for skilled laborers and built dormitories for its students. In 1906, Storer hosted the famous Niagara Movement conference.
Even though Storer’s infrastructure grew and their curriculum expanded, the Free Will Baptists persisted with their original mission. The school remained a vital force in Harper’s Ferry, until it lost funding in 1954 after Brown v. Board of Education was decided.

It was pretty amazing to get to see that. It's rarely open to the general public so it was a privelege to get to see it.

On Monday, Jason had to work but we met him for lunch at Backseat Bar and Grill. It's like a 50's style diner and the food is amazing and the people are always very friendly. Plus it's right around the corner from Jason's work so we love meeting him there for lunch. After lunch, we headed downtown to old town Winchester. We walked and window-shopped and also stopped in George Washington's office museum for a tour.

Tuesday, we shopped. We found some great deals at Kohl's. Lots of clothes on clearance. I think I ended up getting about $300 worth of clothes for $50. Shirts and pants for kids were $1 and $2 so we stocked up.

Yesterday, Jason was off work so we all loaded up the car and went to Baltimore. We took Easton to the National Aquarium to see all the fish and animals there. It was neat seeing his reaction to all the people and animals we saw. Then we had dinner at the Big Kahuna Cantina on the Inner Harbor. The food was good and the portions were HUGE! Plus we all got coupons for free meals if we give them our email address. YAY! Free is always good. Especially when it's an entire dinner for free! Maybe we'll go back soon and take Easton to the Baltimore Zoo. He may be too little for that just yet but we'll see.

Anyway, if you've emailed me in the last week or so and I haven't responded yet...I'm not ignoring you, I promise! I'll get back to you ASAP but unfortunately I've already spent WAY too much time on this computer today so it may be tomorrow or this weekend before I can reply. Thanks for your patience! :) Talk to you soon, I hope!